Trump-Aligned Candidate Phil Lyman Upsets Incumbent Governor Spencer Cox At Utah GOP Convention

[Screenshot/YouTube/Phil Lyman]

Frances Floresca Contributor
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A Trump-aligned state lawmaker attained a higher vote share than the incumbent Republican governor at the Utah GOP’s nominating convention Saturday.

Governor Spencer Cox received 32.46% of the vote from delegates during the second round of voting while Rep. Phil Lyman received 67.54%, making Lyman the winner, according to state delegate Aaron Bullen, who shared the results with the Daily Caller. Lyman is known for supporting former President Donald Trump, according to various posts on his social media.

Cox, however, gathered enough signatures to make it onto the primary ballot, according to Utah Republican Party bylaws and Utah state law. Specifically, Utah’s gubernatorial candidates must receive at least 28,000 certified signatures in order to qualify for the primary ballot or surpass the 60% threshold at the state convention. Cox received 28,006 certified signatures, according to the Utah state government website. (RELATED: Spencer Cox Dodges Whether He’d Back Trump In 2024 Election).

Lyman was pardoned by former President Donald Trump in December 2020. Lyman had been convicted for trespassing while organizing an ATV protest in southern Utah’s Recapture Canyon in 2014 opposing federal management of the state’s public lands, according to KUTV. In 2015, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $96,000 in restitution, according to the outlet.

While Cox arrived to the stage at the convention he appeared to have been met with “boos,” while Lyman was met with loud cheers and applause, according to Fox 13 News.

“I love you guys,” Cox said over the boos before listing accomplishments from his first term as governor, according to his speech shared by the Deseret News and KSL TV.

“Maybe you’re upset that I signed the largest tax cut in Utah history. Maybe you hate that I signed constitutional carry. Maybe you hate that I signed the most pro-life legislation in Utah history. Maybe you hate that I sent troops to the border. Maybe you hate the 60 lawsuits we filed against President Biden in this administration. Maybe you hate that we stopped DEI and ESG and CRT,” he said.

“Or maybe it’s something much more cynical. Maybe you hate that I don’t hate enough,” he continued.

Lyman’s speech, on the other hand, alluded to his 2015 conviction, comparing it to the COVID-19 lockdowns, according to KSL TV.

“All of us have a feeling of what it feels like to be in a prison. As I watched coronavirus roll out with the coronavirus task force, with the business lockdowns, it felt like a prison to me,” he said. “So you know what that looks like. I don’t want to build prisons in Utah.”

The Daily Caller reached out to both the Lyman and Cox campaigns, but neither responded prior to publication.